Holocaust Acquiescence

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk



The Évian Conference


     On November 9-10, 1938, the German government burned every synagogue in Germany and Austria. In addition, Jewish homes and stores were invaded and the furniture thrown through the windows from the inside. The result was a huge a amount of debris lying in the streets. Jews were then forced to pay an indemnity of $2 billion on the grounds that the Jews were responsible for the destruction.  Jews were arrested and sent to KZ or Concentration camps. Some were murdered in the streets. All Jewish property was confiscated and a huge anti-Jewish hate campaign was unleashed.  Polish born Jews were sent back to Poland. From then on, all Jewish schools and other institutions were closed and the Jews of Germany and later the Eastern European Jews were murdered. In addition, three years earlier,  the “Nürnberg Laws” of 1935 had deprived German Jews of their citizenship and all their civil rights.

     This meant that the German Jews were non-persons in the world of nation-states in which all but the Jews had a secure place among those among whom they were born. Normally, non-Jews who had migrated from elsewhere could always return to their country of origin if that became necessary. Only Jews had no such choice, as a Polish Jew or any Jew from anywhere who lived in Germany was as unwelcome in Poland or the country of his birth as in his adopted country. This led to the Holocaust, as there was no place for Jews to go after their expulsion from Germany or their deportation to Nazi ghettoes. At first the Christian Germans believed that the Jews would leave. When this failed it invited the Holocaust. In fact, the reason for the early atrocities, including Kristallnacht, was to motivate the German and later the Austrian Jews to leave. Failing this, the idea was to murder all the Jews who could not leave.

      It is of course evident that one cannot leave one’s homeland unless there is a place to go.  That was not available to most Jews, as was demonstrated at the Évian-les-Bains conference in France between July 6 and 15, 1938.

       In July 1938 the then American president, Franklin Roosevelt, called an international conference at Évian, in France.  Roosevelt sought to convince the delegates from 32 countries and 24 volunteer organizations to allow German Jewish refugees to enter their countries. Victims of Nazi persecution in 1938 were 580 thousand German Jews and 200,000 Austrian Jews.

     The participants in this conference came from far and wide. In addition to the United States and Canada, nineteen South American countries were represented. There were delegates from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

      Europe was represented at that conference by Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland). Australia and New Zealand also sent delegatesNo Asian country participated.

     One country, the Dominican Republic, under dictator Rafael Trujillo, allowed 100,000 refugees to enter on 26,000 acres of farmland. Instead only 700 managed to go there. The others, including the United States, expressed sympathy for the refugees. In fact, the United States delegation let it be known that the quota of German immigrants allowed under the 1923 immigration laws would be available to the refugees but that no additional Jews would be let in. The combined quota of permitted legal immigrants from Germany and Austria at that time was 27,000. Remember that there were then 580,000 Jews in Germany and 200,000 in Austria.

      The Australian delegate said that Australia had no racial problem and had no intention of importing one. The French delegate let it be known that France had already reached “the saturation point” of admission of refugees, a view also held by all the other delegates. The conference established an Inter-government Committee on Refugees, which did nothing.

        Among the numerous non-government observers of the conference were representatives of the American Medical Association and other professional groups, who argued that no additional Jews should be let into the United States because there were too many Jewish doctors and other professionals already.

        Several delegates let it be known that Jews should live only among Jews and that the refugee problem could only be solved by means of a Jews only colony. Since the British were then occupying Israel, they at once announced that they would not let any more Jews into that country since the Arabs didn’t like it.  That despite the fact that more than one half of Israel had been handed to the Arabs already in the form of “Trans Jordan,” which today calls itself Jordan but is really Jewish land.

      All of this led the Germans to gloat that Jews were not wanted anywhere and that their policies must be right since the whole world rejected the Jews. The Germans pointed out that in some of these countries there were not even ten people per square kilometer but nevertheless wanted no Jews, while Germany was overpopulated with 135 people per square kilometer and had to accommodate 580,000 Jews among 62 million people (Today Germany has a population of 82 million, of whom 200 thousand are Jews).

     In sum, the Évian conference gave the Nazis the green light to murder the Jews under their control. Therefore nothing is more proof that Israel must exist than this conference. Hence, such betrayers of the Jewish people as Richard Goldstone and the so-called J Street Jews are once more guilty of seeking to undermine the lives of 6 million Jews, solely for the purpose of gaining some personal advantages from our enemies. The Évian experience convinced the Jews of the Nazi era that a Jewish homeland in Israel was their only salvation. That is still the case, no matter the rantings of the current Arab racists and their friends in the American media.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Women & Social Change in America (2009).

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